Bell peppers are stuffed with delicious mediterranean flavors like artichokes, garbanzo beans, feta and more, baked and topped with cool creamy tzatziki for a fresh and healthy vegetarian meal.
Stuffed peppers - a great meal for so many reasons! They are gorgeous and look very impressive, they can be made in advance so they're perfect for entertaining, the pepper halves are built-in portion control, and there are so many ways you can change them up!
This Mediterranean version has such a great combination of flavors and textures. The quinoa is tender & nutty, the garbanzo beans make it hearty and filling, za'atar is unique and aromatic, the artichokes and capers add a briny bite, the feta is tangy and the tzatziki adds a cool, herby creaminess that is the perfect complement to the filling. All wrapped up in a crisp-tender bell pepper!
These stuffed peppers came to fruition as a mashup of my Sirloin and Sausage Stuffed Peppers and Food Network's Mediterranean Chicken Skillet. I made the Mediterranean Chicken Skillet for dinner one night when we were freshly moved into our Florida house and all of our stuff hadn't arrived yet. I was getting the itch to cook and I had seen this recipe on The Kitchen, it looked easy and delicious and the fact that it was a one-skillet recipe fit the bill perfectly because that was all I had at that time...one skillet. Oh the joys of moving!
I loved the flavors of the Mediterranean Chicken Skillet, and a few weeks later we were having friends over for dinner - one of whom is a vegetarian. I thought - I bet I could make that skillet into some impressive-looking stuffed peppers. And thus the pepper mashup was born!
I feel the need to address za'atar really quickly.
Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture that is commonly made of thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds. It's herby, lemony, aromatic and so perfect in this recipe. As I have mentioned many times before, we are very lucky to have the hookup when it comes to ingredients like this, but I highly recommend you Amazon that business. It's good stuff.
My sister-in-law Delia's family eats it on pita bread with labneh (which kind of reminds me of a cross between greek yogurt and cream cheese)...it's so good.
The flavor profile of za'atar is spot on combined with the rest of the Mediterranean deliciousness.
The tzatziki is a must, the cool creamy sauce is perfect with the warm, hearty flavors of the peppers.
Yummy noises await you!
- 2/3 cup uncooked quinoa (or 2 cups cooked)
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 15.5 oz can garbanzo beans
- 2 Tbsp capers, drained
- 3 Tbsp fresh minced parsley, divided
- 1 Tbsp za'atar
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 14 oz can quartered artichoke hearts (about 1 cup)
- 4 oz crumbled feta cheese, divided
- 4 bell peppers, any color(s) you like
- 8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) tzatziki sauce
Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse quinoa under running water in a fine mesh strainer and cook according to package directions with 1/2 tsp salt.
In a large skillet, heat the oil and add the onion. Cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and cook until they start to blister, pop and release their juices, about 5 more minutes. Lightly mash them with a wooden spoon or spatula.
Take the pan off the heat and add in the cooked quinoa, garbanzo beans, capers, 2 Tbsp parsley, za'atar, remaining 1/2 tsp of salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Add the artichokes and 3/4 of the feta (3 oz.) and carefully fold in, trying not to break them up.
Cut the bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the ribs and seeds. Arrange cut-side up in a 9x13 baking dish, and use a large spoon to divide the filling mixture evenly among the pepper halves.
Carefully pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of the baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45-55 minutes, until the peppers are tender but not mushy.
Sprinkle reserved 1 oz feta and 1 Tbsp parsley over peppers. Top each pepper half with 1 Tbsp tzatziki and serve.